Lindsey Graham Was on Boat With Joe Manchin and Six Other Senators Before COVID Diagnosis

Seven U.S. senators attended an event with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Saturday night before he tested positive for COVID-19. It was the same night Graham began to feel sick.

A bipartisan group of senators went to an event on a houseboat in Washington, D.C. owned by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on the night Graham starting having flu-like symptoms.

Graham attended the U.S. House Physician on Monday and was diagnosed with COVID-19. However, the senator is fully vaccinated and reported on Twitter that he is experiencing "mild symptoms."

In addition to Graham and Manchin, six other senators reportedly attended the gathering on the houseboat, called Almost Heaven.

Those senators were Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), John Thune (R-SD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

The senators' offices have confirmed that they were in attendance, according to CNBC.

Spokespeople for Manchin and Kelly said the senators are fully vaccinated and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for those exposed to someone who has tested positive.

Thune and Rosen's offices said the senators had tested negative on Monday. Coons told NBC that he had also tested negative, while Cantwell's office has said she is being tested. Coons, Thune, Masto and Rosen are also fully vaccinated.

Senator Cantwell's office confirmed to Newsweek on Tuesday that she is fully vaccinated.

Senator Thune's office issued a statement to Newsweek on Tuesday: "Immediately after learning that Senator Graham had tested positive, Senator Thune, who is fully vaccinated, followed the appropriate recommendations, including being tested himself, and he tested negative. He continues to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated."

I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for #COVID19 even after being vaccinated.

I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 2, 2021

Manchin, who is considered a conservative Democrat, spoke to journalists as he left the Capitol on Monday. He said the gathering on his houseboat wasn't a party.

"When you say party, there's no parties, basically there's gatherings we have on Almost Heaven ... so we know each other and talk to each other," Manchin said.

"We were outside. OK? And we were all, everybody's been vaccinated," the senator said.

When Manchin was asked how long the event went on for, he said: "Oh I don't know whatever it takes [to] eat a hamburger or two ... all outdoors."

Coons told NBC News: "It was a cookout. I mean - we literally had hotdogs and hamburgers at like four in the afternoon on the top of a boat that was moving in a, you know, stiff breeze."

Graham tweeted on Monday that he "started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning."

"I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms," he said. I will be quarantining for ten days. I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse."

Almost Heaven is Manchin's residence in Washington, D.C. and it has been the scene of bipartisan get-togethers for several years. A Time magazine article from 2014 reported that Manchin had served pizza and beer as well occasional bottles of Merlot at gatherings on his boat featuring guests from both parties.

Newsweek has asked the senators in attendance for comment.

Update 8/03/21 8.10 a.m. ET: This article was updated to note that Senator Maria Cantwell's office confirmed she is fully vaccinated.

Update 8/03/21 10.35 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a statement from Senator John Thune's office.

Lindsey Graham Speaks About the Southern Border
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Graham attended an event on Senator Joe Manchin's (D-WV) boat on Saturday before his positive COVID-19 test. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

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